ContentsSt.Cillian’s N.S. COVID -19 Policy Statement 1Guidelines for staff 2Awareness and Minimising Risk of Introduction of Covid- 19 3Respiratory Etiquette and Hygiene 4Changes to arrival and dispersal of pupils 4Classroom Environment and Social distancing 6Wellbeing of staff 7Working with children will special educational needs 9Guidelines for use of shared spaces 10Guidelines for use of shared equipment 10Changes to staff room 11Visitors 12First Aid procedures 12Very high risk staff and pupils 13Procedure for suspected case of staff or a pupil feeling unwell 13Lead Worker Representative Posts 14Collaborative Approach 15Role of the Lead Worker Representatives 16Lead Worker Representative(s) 18St. Cillian’s N.S. Risk Assessment 20Checklist for School Management of St. Cillian’s N.S. 20Checklist Lead Worker Representative 26Checklist for Cleaning 28Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19 30St. Cillian’s N.S. Contact Tracing Log 35St Cillian’s N.S. Pre-Return to Work Questionnaire COVID-19 36
St. Cillian’s N.S. COVID -19 Policy Statement
St. Cillian’s N.S is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our students. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The Board of Management and all school
staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:
- continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with all stakeholders.
- provide up to date information to all stakeholders and students on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie.
- display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques.
- inform all staff and students of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements.
- adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the public health guidance and direction of the Department of Education.
- keep a contact log to help with contact tracing.
- ensure staff and students engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education.
- implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school.
- provide instructions for staff and students to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time.
- implement cleaning procedures in line with Department of Education advice
All stakeholders will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions. This can be done through the Lead Worker Representatives, Conor Dilleen (principal) and Laoise Kelly (class teacher), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.
Chairperson’s signature: _______________ Principal’s signature: ____________
Guidelines for staff
Work is a key part of life and while we want to return to work as soon as possible, it must be done so safely. The school has consulted all documents from DES thoroughly, completed a risk assessment and have put guidelines in place. Health and safety for staff and pupils is paramount and the measures implemented are to
- Minimise the risk of introduction of infection into the school.
- Manage the risk of it spreading through:
- Regular and good hand hygiene
- Good respiratory hygiene and coughing etiquette
- Enhanced cleaning regimes and
- Maintaining physical distancing in the classroom and within school
Awareness and Minimising Risk of Introduction of Covid- 19
Managing risk of spread if introduced by the following:
- Exclusion of pupils, staff and visitors who are unwell.
- Regular hand hygiene
- Maintaining physical distancing
- Application of respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
- Environmental hygiene
- Promote awareness with posters, email and text communication.
- Advise the entire school community (staff and pupils) of the following.
- Not to return to or attend school if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus.
- Not to return or attend school if they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
- to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school.
- If anyone is displays symptoms of Covid – 19 to notify LWR immediately.
Respiratory Etiquette and Hygiene
Staff and pupils should understand why hand hygiene is important, when and how to wash their hands. Hand washing amongst staff and pupils several times a day. Hand sanitizers at all entry and exit points, entry into staff room and at photocopiers. Staff and pupils are advised to sanitise when entering and exiting vehicles and when entering and exiting school buildings.
All staff receive PPE packs to model good hygiene and to remain safe when interacting with others. SET and SNAs will receive more PPE e.g., surgical masks and gloves as they interact closely with pupils for care needs e.g., toileting. Staff will wear masks, following advice from public health. Guidance on the use of face masks will be provided to staff and displayed throughout the school building.
In line with DES instructions there will be substantial floor marking, posters in common areas and age-appropriate posters in the classrooms. Staff are reminded of the necessity to maintain a distance of 2 metres.
Changes to arrival and dispersal of pupils
Arrival and departure procedures for children and parents
Parents must arrive on time for leaving in and collecting their child.
- Only parents or carers who are well and have no symptoms of COVID-19 or who have served the required quarantine time of 14 days where advised are allowed to drop off and collect children
- Any parent who is in a high risk category should not drop off or collect children in order to protect themselves. (This of course is at the discretion of the individual parent/carer/grandparent’s discretion).
- Staggered arrival times will be put in place for 8.50am and 9.00am. (See below)
- On entering the school yard (Junior Room parents), a parent must proceed immediately to their child’s Line Up area. They are not to congregate in groups or stand around chatting.
- They must remain with their child until handover has taken place.
- Parents must ensure their child remains at their side at all times and that their child does not interact with other children.
- Under no circumstances are parents to linger in the yard after the child has been handed over but are to leave immediately .
- If a parent has more than one child, the other children stay with them and having handed over the first child, they may proceed to the second line up area.
- Home times will be staggered for classes from first to sixth- 2.20pm (1st & 2nd Classes), 2.25pm (3rd & 4th Classes) and 2.30pm (5th & 6th Classes).
- Parents must wait outside the school in their cars and maintain social distancing in the evening time when waiting to collect a child. A parent must line up on the designated line/spot, maintaining social distancing and wait for their child.
- The junior and senior infants will go home at the normal time exiting through the front door with their teacher. Parents must remain outside the gate. Teacher will dismiss children from the yard individually.
- All must leave the yard immediately after collection.
- No parent will be allowed within the school building .
- Should a matter of urgency arise for parents, they must phone the office and make an appointment or access. Access will only be permitted once their temperature has been taken and they have used the hand sanitiser. Once inside the school building they must maintain the required social distance and follow the directions of the principal/staff member
- At arrival and departure times of children, social distancing is to be maintained by children and parents
- Under no circumstances are parents and carers to gather in groups while waiting for the bell to sound
- Markings on the ground, cones & signage will note where a class can line up
- Arrival and collection times will be staggered to avoid groups of parents/children congregating together
- Classes have been assigned specific doors noted Doors (which will be labelled)
Junior Room – Front Door
Senior Room – Rear Door
Daily Morning Assembly
At 8.45am, the main gates will be opened.
At 8.50am, the pupils of the Junior Room (Junior Infants, Senior infants, 1st Class & 2nd Class) will enter the school maintaining social distancing.
The parents will proceed to their assigned line up. The class lines will begin at the cone to the right of the front door. Children should stand on one of the designated spots marked on the ground. Children must stay with their parents at all times. Parents will leave the yard immediately once their child has been handed over (If they have pupils in other classes, they may proceed to their line up area and wait maintaining social distancing or wait in cars).
At 8.55am, the pupils of the Senior Room (3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Classes) may enter the yard and line up on the designated lines. Their lines will be to the side of the school building (nearest the gate). Each class will have a cone with their class name on it. Parents must remain outside the school grounds. Staff will be on hand to guide and support children.
If a child appears unwell on entering the classroom, the child’s temperature will be taken and in the interests of the safety of the staff and the other children, the principal will contact the parent and ask the parent to take the child home immediately.
Parents must not enter school grounds during the dismissal process.
At 1.30pm, Junior Infants & Senior Infants will be accompanied to the gate by their teacher.
(Junior Infants will finish at 11.30am on the 26th & 27th August – Thursday & Friday)
At 2.20pm, 1st & 2nd Class will be
accompanied to the gate. Each child will line up and be dismissed individually.
At 2.25pm, 3rd & 4th Class will be accompanied to the gate. Each child will line up and be dismissed individually.
At 2.30pm, 5th & 6th Class will be accompanied to the gate. Each child will line up and be dismissed individually.
Updated entry points to minimize the mixing of class groups ’bubbles’:
Entry doors for morning arrival
Junior and Senior Infants
1st and 2nd classes
3rd and 4th classes
5th and 6th classes
These entry procedures will mean that all pupils are entering their classrooms on a one-way system, therefore reducing class bubble mixing.
Junior Infants – Second Class will play on the junior yard. 3rd to 6th classes will play on the pitch 9weather permitting). The yard and pitch will be divided into sections so that each the senior and junior room do not mix.
The support teacher will aid the supervision of handwashing and entry / exit to and from yard at lunchtimes.
The SNA team will have break at:
10:20 – 10:30 (break) 11:30 – 12:00 (lunch)
10:50 – 11:00 (break) 12:40 – 1:10 (lunch)
Classroom Environment and Social distancing
This is based on two categories: increasing separation and decreasing interaction.
- To maintain physical distancing in the classroom, primary schools should:
- Reconfigure class spaces to maximise physical distancing.
- Utilise and reconfigure all available space in the school in order to maximise physical distancing.
- Classes are known as bubbles and these will not mix with other bubbles, where possible.
- It is recognised that younger children are unlikely to maintain physical distance within indoors, therefore it is not mandatory for Junior Infants – 2nd classes.
- Within the bubbles, the pupils will be divided into pods. There will be 1m distance between individual pods within the class bubble and between individuals in the pod, wherever possible.
- Attendance is taken by 9.30am daily.
- All classrooms are ventilated by having the classroom door open and at a minimum window must be opened fully during break times and at the end of the day. Windows must remain partially open when the room is occupied.
- To the greatest extent possible, staff will be consistently working with and supervising the same class bubbles and pupils.
- Social Distancing will be implemented amongst staff common areas such as staffroom, offices, photocopiers and toilet facilities. Maximum capacity will be displayed on each door. Staff who are unable to maintain two metres social distancing in their classrooms must wear face masks. Staff should also take measures to avoid close contact at face-to-face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down. Guidance on the use of face masks will be provided to staff and displayed throughout the school building.
- Team teaching initiatives, which previously would have seen up to 6 adults in a room will cease for Term 2 and Term 3.
Wellbeing of staff
- Not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
- if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus
- If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
- Cooperate with any public health personnel and their school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice given in the event of a case or outbreak in their school.
- Undergo any COVID-19 testing that may be required in their school as part of mass or serial testing as advised by Public Health.
- Class teacher’s desk will be 1 metre from pupils in both class and SET settings.
- When more than one staff member is working in a room, t
hey will keep 2m from each other. Staff who are unable to maintain two metres social distancing in their classrooms must wear face masks.
- If required to work closely with pupils, they will have adequate PPE (surgical masks) and practice good hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- They should also take measures to avoid close contact at face-to-face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.
- Shared equipment e.g., classroom PC and phones must be sanitised before and after use.
- Lead Work Representative (LWR), Conor Dilleen, will be responsible for supporting school staff through being aware of supports from DES, HSE and agencies such as PDST, EAL and NEPs.
- Following HSE advice on strategies to build collective staff wellness and resilience.
- Staff will complete Pre-Return to work questionnaire and confirmed details remain unchanged following periods of closure such as school holidays.
- All staff are required to read Circular 42/2021 https://www.gov.ie/en/circular/b4832-coronavirus-covid-19-arrangements-for-teachers-and-special-needs-assistants-employed-in-recognised-primary-and-post-primary-schools/. This will be sent alongside the Return-to-Work Questionnaire.
- There are clear procedures for those who develop symptoms or school closures.
Working with children will special educational needs.
Support Room Environment
- Pupils attending support in groups should be from the same pod where possible.
- Attendance on fortnightly plans is imperative should the need for contact tracing take place.
- Pupils must sanitise hands before and after support.
- Rooms are well ventilated; doors to remain open and windows to be opened between groups and at break times. During occupancy, windows should be partially opened.
- Tables and chairs are sanitized between groups. Pupils bring their own materials and if materials are shared between groups these a, e sanitised.
- SET to maintain a 2m distance from pupils where possible.
- To maintain physical distancing in the classroom, schools should:
- Reconfigure class spaces to maximise physical distancing.
- Utilise and reconfigure all available space in the school in order to maximise physical distancing.
- Where possible, SEN rooms should be occupied by 1 teacher only.
- DES procedures on wellbeing and learning will be adhered to.
- Maths support and Literacy support will take place in class. If groups are taken from the bubble, they must be from the same pod.
- For pupils who are unable to hand wash independently, they should be assisted by staff.
- Where social distancing is not possible, staff must wear face masks.
- Staff will be provided with protocol for toileting.
- Some pupils with SEN will have their own workspace.
- Pupils from the same class/bubble will work with the same support teacher, where possible.
- Pupils from different bubbles will not mix on movement breaks.
Use of equipment
If a pupil uses equipment e.g., laptop, sensory equipment, this will be individual to them and cleaned as appropriate.
Guidelines for use of shared spaces
Shared spaces e.g., staffroom, school office
- There will be timetables for use of all shared areas and maximum capacity if applicable.
- If pupils are using common areas e.g., hall during movement break, interaction is not permitted and a distance of least 2 metres must be maintained.
- Unnecessary clutter will be removed from these areas.
- Equipment will be sanitised after each use.
- Staff and children will perform hand hygiene before and after use of these areas.
- These areas will be cleaned daily.
Guidelines for use of shared equipment
Classroom Bubble Equipment
- Minimise equipment sharing and clean shared equipment between use by different people.
- The belongings for each pod will be kept together. These will be neatly stored to allow adequate daily cleaning.
- Equipment, where possible, will be allocated to individuals/pods e.g., art equipment.
- Shared equipment such as toys will be cleaned on a regular basis, for example weekly.
- Library books can be used freely and made available without delay.
- Sharing between pods is avoided, where possible. If items are shared, they are sanitised before and after use.
- Children should be encouraged to perform hand hygiene after using any shared item.
- To the best extent possible, music equipment should not be shared and if sharing is required, the instruments should be cleaned between use.
Changes to staff room
Social Distancing in staffroom/canteen
- Staggered staff break times.
- Maximum capacity of the staffroom has been significantly reduced. TWO people.
- Staff wash their hands several times during the day.
- Sanitisers point on entry into staffroom.
- Fridge is permitted to be used.
- No belongings e.g., lunch bags to be left in the staffroom.
- Staff are encouraged to bring their own cutlery/cups and bring them home with them.
- All tables to be cleared after each sitting.
- All cutlery and Delph to brought home for washing after use.
- Microwaves to be sanitised after use.
- Visitors must make prior arrangements and both principal and LWR must be informed.
- All visitors enter using the main door.
- Physical distancing will be maintained. Max occupancy in reception will be two people.
- Visitors will be asked to wait outdoors until a staff member is ready to meet them. They must sanitise before entering and leaving the building.
- Contact tracing log must be completed.
- Forgotten items will be placed in an allocated area outside the main door that does not require interaction with staff.
First Aid procedures
- First Aid Guidelines will be in line with Covid-19 Health Guidance.
- Basic First Aid can be carried out with the same good practice guidelines. In line with Covid 19 risk staff carrying out first aid need to practice good hand hygiene and wear PPE e.g., gloves, surgical masks and aprons. Where possible close contact will be minimised.
- If a child presents with symptoms of Covid, procedures for response to be followed (see below)
Very high-risk staff and pupils
Very High-risk staff
- In order to return to work all staff must read Circular 0042/2021 and complete Return to Work form at least three days before returning. Employee should self-declare if they are a high risk or very high risk to the principal.
- Staff member to consult with their health professional e.g., GP and HSE website for advice.
- Procedure in circular 42/21
Very High-risk students
- School must provide for very high-risk pupils who cannot attend school for health reasons related to Covid 19.
- Additional supports will be provided for these pupils through designated class and support teacher.
- The pupil will be provided with individualised support for their learning.
- The pupil will avail of learning platform used by St. Cillian’s N.S.
Procedure for suspected case of staff or a pupil feeling unwell.
- The school staffroom will be the isolation room.
- If anyone develops symptoms or signs that cause concern about COVID-19 during the day LWR (Conor Dilleen) or assistant LWR (Laoise Kelly) to be notified. The LWR should move as quickly as possible to a separate room (isolation room) or if that is not possible to a separate area more than 2m away from other people other than the person(s) needed to provide support until they can leave.
- The parents/guardian should be telephoned to come and take the pupil home as soon as is reasonably practical. This needs to be done reasonably promptly but this is not an emergency. It is important that parents and guardians do not expose themselves and others to other risks (for example road traffic accident) on the understanding that this is an emergency.
- Parents/guardian should take medical advice regarding the requirement for testing and the duration of exclusion from education.
- There is no requirement for other pupils or school staffs to interrupt their scheduled.
activity immediately if one person develops symptoms.
- Contact surfaces in the immediate vicinity of the person with symptoms should be.
- The person accompanying a pupil waiting to be collected should limit physical contact as much as is practically consistent with the pupil’s needs and should use a surgical mask, visor and nitrile gloves. Hand hygiene must be performed after removal of gloves.
- When the pupil is collected, the accompanying person can resume work with other pupils after removing used PPE and performing hand hygiene.
- It is not appropriate to require certification from a doctor before the pupil returns to
education. There is a certificate that parents can be asked to complete on hpsc.ie website.
- Isolation Room to be cleaned after each use. Shard areas that have been used by the person to be thoroughly cleaned as soon as practically possible. See checklist on page 33 of this document.
Lead Worker Representative Posts
Name of Lead Work Representatives
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The COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The Protocol was developed following discussion and agreement between the Government, Trade Unions and Employers at the Labour Employer Economic Forum.
The Protocol provides for the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative (LWR) in each workplace. The LWR will work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.
The purpose of this section is to set out the provisions in respect of the LWR in schools. These arrangements will operate for the 2020/21 school year and will be kept under review by the parties.
This document should be read in conjunction with:
Responsibility for the development and implementation of the Covid-19 Response Plan and the associated control measures lies with the Board of Management/ Education and Training Board and school management.
Strong communication and a shared collaborative approach are key to protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students. Adherence to the Return-to-Work Protocol will only be achieved if everyone has a shared obligation in implementing the measures contained within the Protocol in their place of work.
If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the Covid-19 Response Plan, control measures or the adherence to such measures by staff, students or others, they should contact the LWR who will engage with school management.
Role of the Lead Worker Representatives
The role of LWR is separate to that of the Safety Representative under the health and safety legislation. However, the Safety Representative may act as the LWR if selected to do so by the staff. In St. Cillian’s N.S. the Safety Representative is Conor Dilleen. The lead Worker Representatives (LWR) are Conor Dilleen and assistant LWR is Laoise Kelly.
In summary, the role of the LWR is to:
- Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts.
- Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice.
- Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19.
- Consult with school management on the control measures required to minimise the risk of staff and students being exposed to COVID-19.
- Promote good hygiene practices, in conjunction with school management, such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice.
- Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice.
- Monitor, in conjunction with school management, adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Conduct reviews of safety measures that are in place to address and suppress Covid-19 in the workplace. Reviews (including an examination of the workplace) should be conducted on a regular basis (at least twice per week).
- Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them.
- Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area.
- Following any incident, assess with the school management any follow up action that is required.
- Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
What can a Lead Worker Representative Do?
The LWR may consult with, and make representations to, school management on any issue of concern in relation to COVID-19. These include issues in relation to:
- Cleaning protocols and their implementation
- Physical Distancing
- Configuration/re-configuration of the school facilities, including classrooms, corridors, halls, open areas, entry and exit points, school grounds etc.
- Implementation of one-way systems in the school to ensure social distancing including when entering and exiting the school.
- Hand Hygiene facilities including their location and whether they are stocked and maintained.
- Hand sanitising
- Staff awareness around hand hygiene in the school
- Respiratory hygiene
- Personal Protec
- At Risk Groups
Does a LWR have any legal responsibilities?
No. A Lead Worker Representative does not have any duties in relation to COVID-19 other than those that apply to employees generally. In other words, the LWR is not responsible for the control measures within an organisation, which remains the employer’s responsibility.
Lead Worker Representative(s)
Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.
In schools with more than 40 staff, a second Lead Worker Representative will be appointed.
Supports for the Lead Worker Representative/s
The LWR(s) shall be entitled to:
- Be provided with information and training in respect of their role.
- Be consulted by school management on the control measures being put in place by the school to minimise the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
- Regular communication with school management on issues related to COVID-19.
- Be informed of changes in practice arising from COVID-19 response measures.
- Have access to any risk assessments prepared or carried out in relation to COVID-19 and to details of incidents of suspected COVID-19 cases that have been notified to the HSE, where they occurred, and any actions taken.
- Be provided with the necessary facilities to enable them to consult with employees or prepare any submissions or reports. These might include access to a meeting room, photocopier, communications and equipment.
- Where the LWR is a teacher, the LWR will receive protected time of 2 hours per week from timetable to enable them to carry out their duties in that role.
Procedure for dealing with issues that arise.
Where a COVID-19 control concern is identified by the LWR or assistant LWR (or is notified to either person by a staff member), this person should bring this to the attention of the Principal. Action points for addressing the issue should, where possible, be agreed between the LWR and the Principal as a matter of urgency. Staff should be informed of the outcome. It is envisaged that issues will be resolved at school level to the maximum extent possible.
If agreement cannot be reached, the LWR should notify the Board of Management (Chairperson). Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the BoM as a matter of urgency. Staff should be informed of the outcome.
If, having exhausted the process above, a serious issue of concern remains outstanding, the LWR may have recourse to the Health and Safety Authority.
Glossary of Terms
- COVID-19 Response Plan: plan designed to support the staff and BOM/ ETB in putting measures in place that will prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the school environment. The plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the Return to Work Safely Protocol, the Department of Education plan for school reopening and to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. COVID-19 Response Plans for Post-primary Schools are available on the Department’s website.
- Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF): the forum for high level dialogue between Government, Trade Union and Employer representatives on matters of strategic national importance – involves the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Government & Employers.
- Return to Work Protocol: national protocol designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Safety Representative: Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 sets out the selection and role of the Safety Representative in the workplace. The rights of the Safety Representative are set out in legislation. (Note: A Safety Representative has rights and not duties under the 2005 Act). This role is separate to the LWR under COVID-19, but the Safety Representative may act as the LWR if selected to do so by the staff.